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About Agents for Change

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Your communities face big, messy challenges for which there aren’t ready-made solutions. Agents for Change is a two-year leadership development program for a cohort of early career Extension Professionals. In your cohort, you will learn how to use the process of adaptive leadership to address these adaptive challenges and how to identify, leverage, and increase your informal and formal power to bring about change. Further, we will apply the eight tenets of transformative leadership to ensure that the change we bring about increases equity and access.

Speaking of adaptive challenges, the pandemic necessitated that the 2021 cohort be conducted online and we found that this worked well with busy Extension schedules. Thus, each month has a synchronous Zoom session and activities for participants to apply at work. One-on-one and small group sessions are available as Extension Professionals work through the activities.

Each Agent for Change will be able to apply this work to existing challenges in their community or program. Our goal is for each of professional to complete the first year having worked intentionally to begin to build a solution to an adaptive challenge. This should support their work, not add to it. The Agents for Change will then apply that solution, with support, in the second year of the program.

Our first cohort is wrapping up their second year of the program. Adaptive and transformative change takes time but our participants have made progress in building advisory groups, clarifying roles and responsibilities, establishing a climate for difficult conversations, and encouraging community input and engagement.

The application for the 2023 cohort is available now. We will accept applications until November 1st and notify all applicants in the week of November 21st. The first session for the 2023 cohort is January 11th, 2023. The 2023 cohort is open to early career Extension Professionals from North Carolina and New Jersey.